08|05|2009 06:00 am EDT
Front-Running has been a significant issue within the domain industry in the past – most notably with Network Solutions – however Benjamin Edelman, an Internet security expert, has exclaimed that he found “no evidence of current front running” following a ten-month study at ICANN’s request.
Edelman’s study involved testing 604 domains (304 .com, 200 .net, and 100 .info) on 200 domain registration and domain availability-checking websites to see whether front-running was taking place.
“My tests offer no evidence of front-running,” stated Edelman. “Not one of the domains I requested, in any of the three rounds of testing, was registered during the seven-day period during which availability was checked twice each day.”
Sadly, after looking through the official testing report, the study fails to deliver the evidence that most domainers would be looking for. Not only does it fail to mention any of the specific websites Edelman searched for, but it also excludes any mention of the registrars or whois services he searched at.
“My methodology cannot prove that front-running is not occuring or that front-running has not occured in the past,” concluded Edelman. “Rather, I have simply failed to find evidence of current front-running via the test scenario I used. It is possible that front-running occurs based on leads from web sites I did not test or based on data sources other than web sites (e.g. NXDOMAIN data from ISPs, navigation requests obtained from client-side software, etc). It is possible that front-running occurred at some point in the past. I cannot rule out these possibilities via the methodology used in this report.”
Yes…it is possible.